from LIVING DELAWARE TOWNSHIP Magazine Fall 2020
By Michelle Markey
The Dingmans Ferry Theatre is an upcoming, cozy community theatre nestled in the woods of the Poconos Mountains. The Theatre was converted from an old cabin as part of Camp Akenac, also known as Akenac Park off Route 739 in Dingmans Ferry.
Due to the current Covid-19 crisis, the Theatre’s scheduled opening has been delayed until the spring of 2021.
Dennis Lee is the creative director and founder of the Dingmans Ferry Theatre. Dennis acted in the 70s, performed with a New York City-based improv troupe, and was later a casting director. His love of the Theatre and appreciation for the performance arts inspired him to want to bring the joy of theatre “to the mountain.”
There is no other similar performance venue nearby, and the Theatre fills a void in the area. Lee has also produced a few documentaries about the area which were well-received. A long-time resident of Dingmans Ferry, Lee is looking forward to filling the Theatre with local and out-of-town acts. The Theatre’s vision began several years ago, and Lee is so pleased it is finally coming to fruition! He describes the near completion of the Theatre as a “dream come true” and a venue “for the community to come together.”
The Dingmans Ferry Theatre will be as professional as possible with time prearranged for rehearsals and run-throughs before performances. The Theatre seats an audience of approximately 50, so it is an intimate venue. The audience will feel almost as if they are watching from side stage, and there is no bad seat in the house! Booking for the Theatre has not opened yet, but reservations will begin as soon as possible. The stage will be low-cost or even free for performers.
Details on auditions, reservations, classes, etc. will be shared as soon as they are available. The building and organization share a space with Akenac but operate independently. “This is a very exciting and needed enhancement to Dingmans Ferry,” said Michelle Markey, the Theatre’s marketing director.
Volunteer, Ava Neinstadt, a Delaware Valley High School student, is excited to help with the tech aspects of upcoming performances. Tim Singleton has also been an enormous help and ally to the planning and remodeling of the cabin.
In the meantime, the Theatre has held a successful Golf Outing fundraiser at the Cliff Park Golf Course in Milford. The fundraiser was well-attended and boasted over 25 sponsors and donors. An outdoor variety show is scheduled for Saturday, August 22nd. The show will feature Jim Manfredonia singing Sinatra and a Back to the Future Skit, a dance duo, singers, and musical acts. Performers include Steve Wollman, Terasa Hill Tarquini, Mandy Librizzi, Gene & Kat Biscontini, Kristopher Tjornhom, Paige Gualandi, Tim Cortes, Sage Duo, Phil Carollo, and Akua.